Jan Ake talks up the Saab 9-4x

Just-Auto have a very interesting article online today (subs reqd) that pretty much confirms just about everything we’ve heard about the 9-4x so far, which as a Saab blogger has me feeling quite satisfied.

    Share platform with a Caddy SUV – check
    Made in Mexico (watch out for the gas pipeline problems)- check
    Sized similar to BMW X3 – a little bigger
    2.9 litre diesel – that’s good news!!
    Preview at Detroit in January – check!

Here’s some highlights from the article (subscription reqd – thanks you-know-who-you-are)

Saab and Cadillac have confirmed that General_Motors’ premium brands are developing “very different and specific” SUV crossovers, which will reach showrooms within two years….

…The Saab is likely to debut at next January’s Detroit motor show, reflecting the importance of making up lost ground on Swedish rival’s XC90 in North America. Both cars are due on sale on both sides of the Atlantic within two years….

…Both Saab and Cadillac will benefit from a new 2.9-litre, twin-turbo, V6 diesel engine under development with VM Motori, which is crucial to the upscale brands’ success. The engine is also destined for Cadillac’s CTS and the next generation Saab 9-5.

Saab’s boss said: “Although they will benefit from shared architecture, the Saab and Cadillac will be two very different vehicles in terms of looks and driving dynamics with no chance of brand confusion.”

That’s a good tidbit about the 9-5 there, getting the diesel. Very encouraging coming from Jan-Ake. There’s also a bit more expanded model news.

Jonsson said the expansion of Saab’s range, which includes a Trollhatten-built Astra (Delta platform)-based smaller model, was part of a “five to 10-year programme” aimed at attaining premium status on a par with BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

Saab’s chief executive said the brand was still having “intense discussions” about the format of its smaller car, aimed at BMW’s 1-series, Audi’s A3 and Volvo’s C30 and likely to be badged 9-1.

8 thoughts on “Jan Ake talks up the Saab 9-4x

  1. I don’t get it, how is the 9-1 not a no-brainer? It would be the most authentic Saab and the one that reaches the coveted young professionals market.

  2. Swade: You coming to the NAIAS this winter? What a way to spend your summer! Hope to see you there!

  3. I read in a press release at Haldex’s website that the XWD system is manufactured in a facility in Mexico as well. Mexican Independence Day is this Sunday. Viva la Mexico!!! :-)

    “part of a “five to 10-year programme” aimed at attaining premium status on a par with BMW, Mercedes and Audi.” So SAAB is admitting they’re (and have been for years) playing “catch-up” to their competitors? And they think that planning to put an entry into the “hot hatch” market which took-off like five years ago with the introduction of the Mini in up to ten years’ time will help their case? Always a day late and a dime short, SAAB.

    Why don’t they try and do some PREDICTION and figure out what the hot market is going to be in five to ten years instead of trying to enter the market with a product five years after the trend?

    So frustrating to play “armchair CEO”, but a lot less stressful than actually having to do so (though I assume the pay and perks of the real job are quite a bit more substantial than the NOTHING I’m making typing this on a SAAB enthusiast’s ‘blog…) ;-)

  4. Grip, turning things around always starts by first admitting you were wrong, have painted yourself in a corner and need to change. Saab in particular and GM in general have finally got that, me thinks.

  5. Swade, you are welcome! And that V6 diesel is HOT! Did you know that they can inject fuel eight (8!) times during every combustion and exactly monitor the pressure and how the fuel ignites. Its amazing! Those italians know what they are doing.
    And it will stay as clean to the very end, because it monitor itself thrue the entire life of the engine.

  6. I see, sorry. Reading too fast.

    Good to know it’s going ahead, although it’s a bit curious that they’d have given the go-ahead without having decided on the “format” of the product. So they’ve approved a small car on Delta but didn’t get further than that?

    1 series is a 2 door coupe, A3 is available as both 3 and 5 door hatch, C30 is 3 door hatch. Saab is known for hatches, so I have to assume they’re building a hatch… I’d be interested to kno what the intense debate is about.

    My own assumption was that it would be a 3 door hatch, because the 9-3 isn’t that large to begin with.

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